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Humble your arrogance of thought,
Pursue the ways by Nature taught :
So shall you find delicious fare,
And grateful farmers praise your care ;
So fall sleek mice your chace reward,
And no keen cat find more regard.”
THE COURTIER AND PROTEUS.
The country shelters his disgrace;
Where, doom'd to exercise and health,
His house and gardens own his wealth.
He builds new schemes, in hope to gain 5
'The plunder of another reign;
Like Philip's son, would fain be doing,
And fighs for other realms to ruin.
As one of these (without his wand)
Pensive along the winding strand
Employ'd the folitary hour,
In projects to regain his power,
The waves in spreading circles ran,
Proteus arose, and thus began.
“ Came you from court ? for in your
15 A felf-important air is seen.”
He frankly own'd his friends had trick'd him, And how he fell his party's victim.
« Know, says the God, by matchless skill
I change to every shape at will ;
But yet, I'm told, at court you see
Those who presume to rival me.”
Thu; said : a Snake, with hideous trail,
Proteus extends his scaly mail.
Know, says the Man, though proud in place, All Courtiers are of reptile race. Like you, they take that dreadful form, Balk in the sun, and fly the storm; With malice hiss, with envy glote, And for convenience change their coat; 30 With new-got lustre rear their head, Though on a dunghill born and bred.”
Sudden the God a Lion stands;
He shakes his mane, he spurns the sands.
Now a fierce Lynx, with fiery glare ; 35
A Wolf, an Ass, a Fox, a Bear.
- Had I ne'er liv'd at court, he cries,
Such transformation might surprize;
But there, in quest of daily game,
Each able Courtier acts the fame;
Wolves, Lions, Lynxes, while in place,
Their friends and fellows are their chace.
They play the Bear's and Fox's part,
Now rob by force, now steal with art.
They sometimes in the senate bray,
45 Or, chang'd again to beasts of
prey, Down from the Lion to the Ape, Practise the frauds of every shape.”
So faid: upon the God he flies,
In cords the struggling captive ties.
“ Now, Proteus ! now (to truth compellid)
Speak, and confess thy art excell'd.
Use strength, surprise, or what you will,
The Courtier finds evasions still ;
Not to be bound by any ties,
And never forc'd to leave his lyes.”
HOSE who in quarrels interpose,
Must often wipe a bloody nose.
A Mastiff, of true English blood, ,
Lov'd fighting better than his food.
When dogs were snarling for a bone,
He long'd to make the war his own,
And often found (when two contend)
To interpofe obtain'd his end.
He glory'd in his limping pace;
The scars of honour seam'd his face;
limb a gash appears,
And frequent fights retrench'd his ears.
As on a time he heard from far
Two dogs engag'd in noisy war,
Away he scours, and lays about him,
Resolv'd no fray should be without him.
Forth from his yard a tanner fies, And to the bold intruder cries:
« A cudgel shall correct your manners :
Whence sprung this cursed hate to tanners ?
While on my dog you vent your spite,
Sirrah! 'tis me you dare not bite."
To see the battle thus perplex’d,
With equal rage a butcher, vex’d,
Hoarse-screaming from the circled crowd,
25 To the curs'd Mastiff cries aloud :
Both Hockleyhole and Marybone
The combats of my dog have known:
He ne'er, like bullies, coward-hearted,
Attacks in public, to be parted.
Think not, rash fool, to share his fame;
Be his the honour, or the shame.”
Thus said, they swore, and rav'd like thunder,
Then dragg’d their fasten'd dogs asunder ;
While clubs and kicks from
35 Rebounded from the Mastiff's hide.
All reeking now with sweat and blood,
A while the parted warriors stood ;
Then pour'd upon the meddling foe,
Who, worried, howl'd and sprawl'd below.
He rose; and limping from the fray,
By both sides mangled, sneak'd away.
THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
How many faucy airs we meet
From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street!
Proud rogues, who shared the South-sea prey,
And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
They think it mean to condescend
To know a brother or a friend ;
They blush to hear their mother's name,
And by their pride expose their shame.
As cross his yard, at early day,
A careful farmer took his way,
He stopp'd; and, leaning on his fork,
Observ'd the flail's incessant work.
In thought he measur'd all his store,
His geese, his hogs, he number'd o’er;
In fancy weigh'd the fleeces fhorn,
And multiply'd the next year's corn.
A Barley-mow, which stood beside,
Thus to its musing master cry'd :
Say, good Sir, is it fit or right
To treat me with neglect and Night ?
Me, who contribute to your cheer,
And raise your mirth with ale and beer?
Why thus insulted, thus disgrac'd,
And that vile dunghill near me plac'd ?